Forget Zuckerberg and Cook’s hypocrisy – it’s their companies that are the real problem

We are all in thrall to the corporate giants that control digital technology. Only by seeing that can we hope to change them

Hypocrisy,” wrote Somerset Maugham, “is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practised at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.” It is indeed, which is why many corporate leaders sometimes seem to struggle to find time for their day jobs – being chief executives.

Here for example is Mark Zuckerberg the other day on a regular call with stock market analysts. “Our goal,” he declared, “is to give every individual entrepreneur and small business access to the same kinds of tools that historically only the big companies have had access to. One of the things I’m most proud of is that we build the tools so we can offer these same capabilities to small businesses, often for free. So when you hear people say that we hold a lot of data, that’s because hundreds of millions of businesses that would have otherwise had to do this individually and would have had no easy way of doing so are now using our services to help them reach customers. When you hear people say that we’re connecting data from lots of sources, that’s to help small businesses reach customers more efficiently.”

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